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The Great Purge was a campaign of political repression in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin from 1936 to 1939. It involved a large-scale purge of the Communist Party and government officials, repression of peasants and the Red Army leadership, and widespread police surveillance, suspicion of "saboteurs", imprisonment, and arbitrary executions.

In Russian historiography the period of the most intense purge, 1937–1938, is called Yezhovshchina (Russian: ежовщина; literally, the Yezhov regime), after Nikolai Yezhov, the head of the Soviet secret police, NKVD.

In the Western world, Robert Conquest's 1968 book The Great Terror popularized that phrase. Conquest's title was in turn inspired by the period of terror (French: la Terreur) during the French Revolution.

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